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Senators Want DOD To Address BRAC Traffic

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Virginia's two U.S. Senators say they still have serious concerns about the traffic around the Department of Defense's new Washington Headquarters Service office at Mark Center. Senators Mark Warner (D) and Jim Webb (D) joined Congressmen Jim Moran (D) and Gerry Connolly (D) in sending a letter on the issue to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta today.

The letter expresses concern that DOD's transportation management plan for the new Alexandria facility doesn't do enough to prevent crippling traffic congestion in the area.

"While the transportation improvements paid for by the Department will not be completed until at least December 2013, the Department’s current occupation plan for the Mark Center will relocate 5,000 personnel to the BRAC site by December 2011, two full years before the transportation improvements will be completed," the lawmakers note in the letter.

The agency is phasing in the arrival of the 6,400 employees the building is expected to house as part of the military's larger Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). But the lawmakers say the schedule is still too aggressive considering that road improvements have not been made. They want DOD to outline traffic mitigation measures if the gridlock gets worse, and give the public access to traffic monitoring data every 30 days.

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